At the beginning of next week’s new legislative session, Indiana State Representative Alan Morrison plans to file a proposed bill that would bring industry regulation to daily fantasy sports websites.
What would Indiana’s version of industry regulation look like under the proposal?
The key components of the regulatory framework include:
- Restricting contest participation to individuals who are at least 18 years of age;
- Requiring that daily fantasy websites undergo yearly audits;
- Granting authority to State casinos to host and operate fantasy sports contests; and
- Vesting regulatory oversight with a yet-unnamed State agency.
Readers of this blog will recall Rep. Morrison’s ill-fated efforts to pass a similar proposal in the previous legislative session. However, given the news generated by the fantasy sports industry over the past year, Rep. Morrison is optimistic that the impending bill will be taken up in the upcoming session and that it will be received more favorably than his prior proposal.
Widespread Efforts to Regulate Fantasy Sports
As Congress continues to drag its feet on a decision over whether or not to wade back into the fantasy sports space, and U.S. Attorney investigations of the industry progress, industry lobbying efforts have begun to shift their focus towards state legislatures across the country. Indiana is the latest example of a state in which momentum towards industry regulation has taken hold. Similar efforts have been undertaken by regulators and lawmakers in Massachusetts, California and Florida. As fantasy sports contests, and the laws and regulations that govern them, continue to grow and evolve, it is essential that fantasy sports enterprises keep abreast of the developing legal landscape. Operators should regularly review their respective contest platforms, entry fees and prize structures with knowledgeable counsel in order to effectively navigate this rapidly changing regulatory framework and in order to remain compliant with applicable laws.